Operatives of Tantita Security Services Limited, the surveillance outfit of former militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, have discovered major tapping points on the Trans-Forcados/Ramos Pipeline in Delta State, through which International Oil Companies, security officials, oil bunkerers, and locals have colluded to steal oil over the years.
According to operatives’ records, the pipeline runs from Otumara and ends at Forcados Terminal, but oil thieves, oil companies, and security officials had been siphoning crude oil from the line for a long time.
A top official of Tantita Security Services, Engr. Ketson Pondi, who spoke on the discovery, said, “The pipeline is being terribly tapped, we have arrested nobody, and what we are doing now is to check the pipeline, if we discover illegal refineries, we report to the authorities for them to destroy them. If we also discover tapping as we have done now, we will also report it to the authorities.
“However, if we discover people doing illegal business and apprehend them, we will hand them over to the authorities, but from all indications, it is difficult to arrest those doing tapping, you can only do it with special intel. But having reported to the authorities, they will take their decision and possibly make an arrest.
The Chief of Defence Staff, General Irabor, who spoke to reporters after inspecting the breaches, vowed that the Ministry of Defence would not leave any stone unturned in fishing out the culprits.
He added the ministry would carry out an investigation on the entire stretch to find out those involved, “and how long it has been among other issues.”
On his part, the Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited, (NNPCL), Mele Kyari, acknowledged that the company was getting massive support from security agencies and other stakeholders in the campaign to stop illegal oil bunkering.
The discovery of the breaches comes two months after the Federal Government awarded Tompolo a pipeline surveillance contract.
Earlier, Tompolo had accused the Nigerian Army and Nigerian Navy of shielding oil thieves.